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Somalia’s ‘Pirate Cycle’: The Three Phases of Somali Piracy

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This article provides a theoretical framework for examining Somali piracy from its origins in the 1990s to the present. This analysis provides both a detailed description of the changing nature of piracy, as well as explanations for why these changes have occurred. The increase in pirate activity off Somalia from 1991 to 2011 did not occur in a steady linear progression, but took place in three separate phases. These three phases can be viewed in terms of a “cycle of piracy,” based on a theory developed by the pirate historian Philip Gosse in 1932. By employing this framework, policy-makers in the U.S. and elsewhere would be better able to judge when counter-piracy intervention is necessary. By preventing piracy from developing into large-scale professionalized operations, as witnessed in Somalia since 2007, the international community will be able carryout more efficient and effective piracy suppression operations in future.
TidsskriftJournal of Strategic Security
Udgave nummer63
Sider (fra-til)55-63
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 2013


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